Head of OPERA has resigned
From the Beeb: the head of the OPERA experiment, which caused that flurry over some neutrinos apparently travelling faster than the speed of light, has resigned.
Just a recap on what the whole thing was about: the OPERA experiment was (and still is) a collaboration between the Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy and CERN to detect neutrinos. However, they noticed that the neutrinos were arriving earlier than they should – by about 60 nanoseconds, or 0.000000060 seconds. Which meant they were travelling about 0.0025% faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.
Of course, EVERYONE got really excited about it, even though most physicists were sceptical. I was too. It turned out that a wire hadn’t been plugged in correctly, something that just about anyone could do. Since the ICARUS group tested this and found no discrepancy at all, the whole thing has died down.
And now, the head of the experiment is resigning. There is no statement as to why, but why? Maybe he’s just worn out after it all. It might be that they need a scapegoat – but I have no idea why. Everyone makes mistakes, and the whole thing made a perfect example of the scientific method at work. For that reason alone, I’m not going to forget about it.